City News Group, Inc.

Opening in San Bernardino in 1951, 1st Valley Credit Union has a long history of customer service. A dedicated staff ensures that no customer is left unsatisfied, and that dedication is evident in the amount of service each 1st Valley Credit Union employee has provided to both the company and to its customers; of the 10 employees, nine have been with the company for nearly 10 years—with an even larger percentage of those employees having been with the company for more than a decade.

Steve Serratos is the newest member of the 1st Valley Credit Union family, having been at the company for three years. He is joined by his coworkers Kimberly Cassel (nine years), Carmina Udiong (12 years) Christine Hudkins (12 years) Lorraine Zavala (13 years), Accounting/Director of Operations Thi Juarez (14 years), President Gregg Stockdale (15 years), Electronic Service Specialist Monica Hernandez (16 years), Director of Lending Sue Studley (28 years) and Executive Vice President Lisa Daniels (35 years). The credit union prides itself on being a friendly environment with a willingness to help out anyone who comes to them. They also place a great emphasis on their desire to create a comfortable family-like feel. President Gregg Stockdale said, “[The employees] love the members and [the members] love them. We promote a family atmosphere. It is not a business—it’s a family.”

When it first opened over 60 years ago, 1st Valley served only the city employees of San Bernardino. Through the years, the credit union added local employer groups to their field of membership and in 1999 expanded to encompass all persons either living or working in the cities of San Bernardino, Colton, Rialto, Highland, Loma Linda and Grand Terrace. During its 60th year of operation in 2011, 1st Valley began serving the entire San Bernardino County, and now serves over 3,800 members.

Sue Studley said many things set the credit union apart, most importantly the “customer service—our willingness to always put customers first.” After devoting 28 years to the business, she said, “I love the membership—the people who make up the business. They are my extended family.” Monica Hernandez agreed. “Our personal service is what has kept me here so long,” she said. “This is the best place to work for. We have the best members ever,” said Lorraine Zavala. “Our employees and members all watch out for each other. Everybody [pitches] in to help each other out. We don’t find a way to say no; we work with the ‘yeses’ and we will help find out how to fix your credit problems. We didn’t have a lot of people file bankruptcy because we didn’t put them in something they couldn’t afford.” 1st Valley Credit Union is located at 401 West 2nd Street in San Bernardino and may be contacted by phone at 909-889-0838 or toll-free outside the 909 area code at 866-429-7493, or via email at creditunion@1stvalleycu.com.

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